Beware of "Free" Medical Alert Systems

June 24, 2013
A medical alert scam is making rounds to senior citizens nationwide offering a “free” medical alert system.

How the Scam Works:
Phone calls or pre-recorded messages are left by medical alert imposters stating that consumers are eligible for a “free” medical alert system. The messages state that a friend or family member has paid for the product and instructs listeners to press #1 to be transferred to a company representative to schedule the delivery of the product. What these scammers are actually after is sensitive information such as bank account numbers, addresses, and social security numbers.

BBB is warning consumers to hang up the phone or delete any messages about this "free" product. Most importantly consumers should refrain from giving away personal or financial information.

BBB is advising consumer to watch out for these red flags:
  • Promises of something for free. Be wary of “free” offers that ask you to pay a handling fee or other charges.
  • Implied endorsement from a well-known organization. In this case, the call claims that it has been recommended by numerous hospitals and medical professionals. 
  • Spoken errors. Just as phishing emails often contain misspellings and grammar errors, scam calls can have similar errors. 
  • The caller or automated message tries to create a sense of panic. In this case, the call alarms seniors by describing a situation where someone has experienced a fall or emergency situation in the past. 
  • Calls that push for immediate action. Listen for language like “this offer is good for today only!” 
  • Refuses to Answer Questions Directly, Provide Contact Info, or Complete Offer Details. Any legitimate business should be able to give you detailed contact information, such as an address or website. 
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